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Starting shaving

Facial hair starts to appear for boys after puberty. The age at which they'll need to start shaving will vary, depending on how fast the beard is growing, and whether there are school rules about facial hair.

Talk to a male relative or friends about when to start shaving.

Once it is time for a shave, there are some decisions to make: electric or wet shave razor?

What type of razor to use?

  • Electric razors. Electric razors are convenient but many models do not shave as close as the disposable wet razors. If you select an electric razor, choose one that has flexible heads to conform to the contours of your face. Some electric razors dispense lubricants that help soften and protect your skin. Be aware that even when you use an electric razor, it can still irritate your skin. Take time and find one that’s right for you.
  • Disposable razors. If you choose a disposable razor, you will also need some type of shaving cream or gel to apply to your face before shaving. These creams and gels help lubricate your face and help reduce the risk of nicking or cutting your skin. There are many creams and gels to choose from. Some even include moisturisers and vitamins to help keep your face from drying out. Experiment with several creams and gels to find the one that’s right for your face.

Avoid cuts

You’ll probably cut your face a few times when you first start shaving. Every boy cuts his face at some time, but here are some safety tips on shaving with a disposable or safety razor:

  1. The best time to shave is after taking a warm bath or shower to make sure your skin is hydrated and soft.
  2. At the bathroom sink, splash warm water on your face to stimulate your skin before applying shaving cream or gel. This will make it easier for the razor to make contact because the hairs will stick out.
  3. Lather up. Apply shaving cream or gel (without alcohol) on your face. The shaving cream or gel produces "lather", which helps protect the skin as the razor cuts the hair.
  4. Go with the grain of your hair, not against it. For most boys, whiskers on the face grow "down". So shaving downward on the face removes most of the hair. Shaving against the grain (or upward) can cause rashes or red bumps.
  5. Don’t rush. It’s very important to shave slowly and gently. Let the razor blade do the work.
  6. Don’t push down too hard with the razor. If you do, you're likely to cut your face. It’s better to go over a part of the skin twice lightly than to press down hard.
  7. Use soft, short strokes on your jaw and chin. Again, don’t apply too much pressure.
  8. Change razors or blades frequently. A dull blade can irritate your skin and cause rashes. You are also more likely to cut your face with a dull blade.
  9. After shaving, wash your face with soap and water. Then follow up your shave with a face lotion or moisturising aftershave product. This will help prevent your skin from drying out. If you’re heading outside, be sure to apply sun cream with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 (higher if you have fair skin).
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